LECTURE “LOVE SONGS IN THE JEWISH TRADITION”

Organized as part of the 2014 Festival of Jewish Cultures

Thursday, June 12, 6:15 p.m. – Reservations required


The Song of Songs, a musical lecture by Jacques Arnold, cantor and honorary rabbi, and Hervé Roten, musicologist and director of the Institut Européen des Musiques Juives.

This lecture, illustrated by numerous audio and video examples, will explore the significance of this text, and its resonance in different Jewish musical traditions, both religious and secular. A musical journey between earthly and divine love…

The Song of Songs, in Hebrew “chir hachirim”, is one of the books of the Bible. Jewish tradition requires that it be read at the end of the Seder on Easter night, and again on the Saturday of mid-Easter. This lyrical poem is sung with melodious accents from the depths of time. This love song occupies a singular place in the biblical canon. It is, in fact, a romantic-erotic tale of love between two lovers living in Jerusalem, a moving romance of painful separation and the reunion of two people who love each other – or is it, as some say, a dream, pure and simple? But why, then, does it figure among the books of holy inspiration? Why read it at Pesach, that precise moment in history when the Children of Israel pass from the state of servitude into which they are plunged in Egypt, to that of a freed people, elevated to the spiritual plane? Rabbi Akiba, one of the founders of rabbinic Judaism and renowned for his knowledge of the mysteries of the Torah, believes that the Song of Songs is a symbolic declaration of the love between God and the people of Israel. All writings are holy, and the Song of Songs is the Holy of Holies,” he says, suggesting that this enigmatic book, the most poetic of the Bible, allegorically conceals teachings of the highest value. Have we lost the key? Perhaps not!

See the festival magazine:

Program proposed by the European Institute of Jewish Music.
Thursday June 12, 6:15pm
Bibliothèque historique de la Ville de Paris

24, rue Pavée, Paris 4th arrondissement
5 euros // Information : 01 42 17 10 70
RESERVATION REQUIRED: www.festivaldesculturesjuives.org

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